18. April 2014 · Comments Off on Acupuncture for Menopause · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life; the problem, however, is that it comes not without any health issues in women and sadly, some of these symptoms can be debilitating.  The most common symptoms that menopause can cause are hot flashes. They are widely reported by around 70% to 85% of women. The second most frequently occurring menopausal symptom is night sweats. They can be quite troubling and may be felt many times at night. Night sweats can cause mood disturbances, irritability, and interrupted sleep that can result in fatigue.

Acupuncture can be used to treat issues related to menopause. In fact, hormonal or gynecological conditions are some of the health issues that are effectively resolved by Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners or acupuncturists utilize a number of modalities that can include Chinese massage (Tui Na), dietary therapy, herbal remedies and acupuncture.

Menopausal symptoms are addressed differently in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) compared to that of Western medicine.  Western medicine addresses conditions associated with menopause the same as with any other disease. The symptoms are treated using hormones or prescription drugs.

According to TCM, menopause is viewed as a normal phase in the aging process of a woman. Any illnesses connected to menopause are deemed signals that there exists an underlying imbalance. The focus of TCM treatment is to address the imbalance, or the underlying cause of the problem, and not merely treating the external symptoms.

Longevity and Essence are intimately tied to each other according to traditional Chinese medicine. Essence is a substance bestowed upon us by our parent’s during the point of our conception.  It contains the primary energy that activates all our life’s functions, including growth, maturation and reproductive capacities.  The abundance of Essence in our body implies our ability to adapt to change and recuperate from illnesses quickly.  The aging process leads to the depletion of our Essence and the complete exhaustion of Essence means our death. Some people consume their essence faster than others and the reason for this is the way they live their lives as well as their own constitution.  The telltale signs of the decline of Essence include the end of the menstrual cycle, menopause, fatigue, backache, waning of libido and the graying of our hair.

One other factor that causes imbalance that can lead to menopausal symptoms is the slow flow of Yin. According to TCM, Yin is the principle that nourishes and cools the body. Women encountering problems in their menopause have low Yin in their body.  This can lead to symptoms such as dry skin, insomnia, heart palpitations, night sweats and hot flashes.

Some women with menopausal issues may suffer from deficient Yang. Yang is the opposite of Yin and represents the transforming and warming aspects of the body.  Deficient Yang can lead to women experiencing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, indigestion, edema, weight gain, and water retention. In certain cases, women may suffer from deficiencies of both Yin and Yang leading to symptoms of Yin and Yang.

Lack of Yin or Yang in the body can be resolved.  In certain conditions, Essence can be restored up to a certain point. Addressing imbalances in the body may entail the need for lifestyle and diet changes, and the use of Chinese herbs and acupuncture.

Listed below are some good tips to naturally help lower the severity and frequency of the symptoms of menopause:

Consume cooling foods – according to TCM, each food possesses an intrinsic temperature that is based on the cooling or warming effect on the body. Foods that have the capacity to cool you include lemon, grapefruit, bananas, mung beans, watermelon, cucumber and mint.

Stay cool – no, not in the fashionable sense of the word, but in a literal sense. A lot of women complain that their hot flashes become more severe during humid, hot weather. To avoid this discomfort, stay in an air conditioned place and soothe yourself during really blazing hot days.

Wear cardigans – dress up in layers that are easily taken off or worn on as the temperature of your body fluctuates.

Perform adequate exercise – stress is effectively removed with exercise. Stress plays a huge factor in exacerbating night sweats and hot flashes.  Moreover, your mood is improved and the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases are lowered when you regularly exercise.

Stay away from foods that worsen heat symptoms – they include spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol.

Lower your stress – as mentioned stress can exacerbate your menopausal symptoms. To de-stress your mind and body, spend some time for yourself or do some meditation, or yoga.

Avail yourself of herbal remedies – herbal formulas that can help relieve your menopausal symptoms include primrose oil, dong quai, and black cohosh.

Vitamin E – a lot of women report significant relief of their symptoms after taking natural forms of vitamin E. Only use the natural form of this vitamin which can be determined by the letter d. the d stands for d-alpha-tocophero. Do not use the synthetic form of this supplement which is known by dl.  Take 400 i.u. each day.

Augment soy into your diet – soy is a rich source of natural occurring estrogens known as phytoestrogens. Certain vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods, flaxseed, chickpeas and other legumes are also high in phytoestrogens.